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Neutron decay at neutron star

  1. Jan 20, 2013 #1
    On decays I have only a preliminary understanding. I was looking up the half life of a neutron for another reason.
    The value I found for neutron decay for a free neutron was 10.3 seconds. Hope thats reasonably accurate.
    Anyways knowing that neutrons are stable in a nucleus held together by the strong force.
    In the case of neutron stars which are comprised mainly of neutrons which is said to be held by gravity not the strong force.
    Is the local gravity allowing neutron stability or does the neutrons have the above mentioned half life?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2013 #2
    Wrong order of magnitude. 10 minutes, not seconds.
    In neutron stars, it is electron chemical potential that makes neutrons stable. Gravity as such is irrelevant.
  4. Jan 20, 2013 #3
    Lol I meant minutes not sure why I typed seconds. Anyways thanks for the answer.
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